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NASA launches with CCSi's purchasing card software

Credit Card Solutions Inc. will be fueling up NASA's purchasing card system.

The Richland, Wash., company was awarded the contract to provide Intranet and client/server purchasing card (p-card) software and related professional services to the space agency.

CCSi's work for NASA will include integrating their software with NASA's existing SAP Financials system. CCSi provides custom p-card software to corporations, universities and state and federal agencies. For each customer, CCSi writes interfaces to the customer's financial system.

CCSi has written interfaces to other enterprise resource planning systems, including PeopleSoft and Oracle, as well as older legacy systems. Purchasing cards are similar to credit cards, used by corporations for corporate purchases.

"NASA was determined to use SAP's baseline software to the greatest degree possible. One of the gaps (in SAP Financials) from their initial requirements was the purchasing card" component, said Lori Nowlen, certified purchasing manager, vice president of sales and marketing at CCSi.

The contract calls for NASA's Integrated Financial Management Program Core Financial Project to use CCSi's Web-based and Intranet software, called The P-Card Web Solution.

One of NASA's goals is to create a complete yet simple purchasing card processing program. With the new software, NASA will be able to help more than 4,500 cardholders and officials manage their purchasing card-related workload.

The CCSi software will allow NASA to create a record of an order at the time of purchase with an online order log,. It will also be able to encumber funds against the appropriate account codes based on the log, match log entries to online transactions, add its own categories for reporting and give managers and supervisors the ability to approve reconciled transactions.

The software replaces cardholder features of software offered by NASA's card provider. A basic version of the provider's software is still used by the p-card program administrator for tasks that need to be handled directly with the provider, such as changing a card's spending limits, Nowlen said.

The software should be installed in 12 weeks. CCSI will write an interface that connects its software to NASA's financial system, known as a mapper, as it does for other customers, Nowlen said.

"Because this interface is tailored it is much more flexible and robust than other p-card software," she said.

For example, NASA wanted to be able to encumber funds, based on the order log within the SAP system, which customers do not usually request, Nowlen said.

"This is an infrequent request, and is not always a best practice. However, in situations where it is a best practice, CCSi's flexibility can support it," she said.


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